When judges had made their final calculations and it was time to announce the winner of the prestigious Miss Polokwane Observer Cover Girl 2015 on Saturday, it was eight-year-old Wilita Lee from Mokopane that stepped up to claim the crown and title.
Entrants, supporters and guests had gathered from early on at Meropa Casino & Entertainment World in order not to miss any of the glamour and action of the pageant and the entrants did not disappoint. There was no lack of style, glitz or confidence and as the pageant proceeded the huge amount of local talent became more evident.
Following a modelling workshop the day before, the entrants were ready to face the judges for the customary interview session early in the day and later on took to the ramp for the smart casual and eveningwear stages of the pageant.
A total of 36 prizes were handed out and three winners in each of the six categories: 1 to 3 years, 4 to 6 years, 7 to 9 years, 10 to 12 years, 13 to 15 years and 16 to 24 years were announced. There were also three special awards in each category, Miss Interview (except in the age category 1 to 3 years), Miss Eveningwear and Public Choice Award.
The winners are:
1 to 3 years: Xihlamariso Mashau was announced as Little Missy Polokwane Observer 2015 and also received the award for best eveningwear. She was followed by Koketso Sekhaoleo in second place and Larike Pretorius in third. Olugaho Mathige won the Public Choice Awards with 51% votes in her age group.
4 to 6 years: Anzé Esterhuizen showed her modelling talent and was not only crowned Little Miss Polokwane Observer 2015 but also Miss Interview and received the award for best eveningwear. Zwivhuya Mudau was crowned first princess and Clarisse Morais second princess. Kgalalelo Mabote received the Public Choice Award with 52% of the votes.
7 to 9 years: Wilita Lee was announced as Miss Junior Polokwane Observer 2015. Zwonaka Sikhwivhilu was crowned as first princess and Rebotile Letshedi as second princess. Rebothile won the Public Choice Award as well as Miss Interview and best eveningwear.
10 to 12 years: Palesa Masimene was crowned Miss Polokwane Observer Junior Teen 2015 and received the award for best eveningwear as well. Washu Hlabioa was named first princess and Refilwe Malatji as second princess as well as Miss Interview. Mosa Senosha claimed the Public Choice Awards with 31% of the votes.
13 to 15 years: Rethabile Molepo was crowned Miss Polokwane Observer Teen 2015 and received the award for best eveningwear. In second place was Rethabile Matjuda who was also named Miss Interview. In third place was Vickey Vorster. Kabelo Lekgoathi won the Public Choice Awards with 28% of the votes.
16 to 24 years: Elrize Erasmus was crowned Miss Polokwane Observer 2015 and named Miss Interview. Ronnel Homu was announced as first princess and Tshegofatso Monyepao as second princess. Tshegofatso was the overall Public Choice Award winner with more than 1 500 votes and received an award for best eveningwear.
Katryn Barwise, pageant organiser and owner of Limpopo Beauty Modelling Academy who hosted the pageant in conjunction with Polokwane Observer said it was a very successful competition and that each model looked wonderful on the stage. She also informed that the SMS competition had drawn more than 20 000 votes.
“The models did great and the judging was very intense,” Barwise said afterwards.
Head judge and Editor of Polokwane Observer, Yolande Nel was assisted by Santa Lamani from Audi Polokwane, Esmarie Pheiffer, model, and Caroline Thema, motivational speaker.
Barwise said that she would host a pageant like this in the future again.
All entrants had to bring along two blankets that will be donated to a charity project close to Barwise’s heart, Pontsho Disability Centre in Lebowagomo. She said some of the contestants brought more blankets so that a total of 200 blankets were eventually collected. Barwise thanked the sponsors Polokwane Observer, Audi Polokwane, House of Asante, Honey Jewellery and Meropa Casino & Entertainment World for their contribution towards the pageant.
The pageant was also an opportunity for Barwise, a Top Model SA regional scout to be on the lookout for possible Top Model South Africa contestants.
Story: LEANDRI VAN SCHALKWYK